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NIGP Consulting


Digital Services Playbook Blog Series Introduction

Today’s blog was written by Ryan Moore, Periscope’s Director of Product Management. It is the first in a series of blog posts about the Digital Services Playbook created by the U.S. Digital Service, a team focused on improving and simplifying the digital experience that people and businesses have with their government.

In 2013 the Federal government launched one of the cornerstone initiatives under President Obama, HealthCare.gov. The ambitious website was plagued with early technical problems, and it quickly became evident that the old-school practices for expensive development projects were not compatible with building highly technical digital systems in the ever evolving information technology landscape. As a result of these early stumbles, the Administration sought out those in the private sector that had the skills and experience to both turnaround HealthCare.gov, and to proactively lead the public sector in the fast paced digital services environment.

This new group of talented innovators formed what is now the U.S. Digital Service, a team with one core mission, to improve and simplify the digital experience that people and businesses have with their government by:

  • Establishing standards to bring the government’s digital services in line with the best private sector services;
  • Identifying common technology patterns that will help us scale services effectively;
  • Collaborating with agencies to identify and address gaps in their capacity to design, develop, deploy and operate excellent citizen-facing services; and
  • Providing accountability to ensure agencies see results.

In an effort to achieve this mission, in August the Administration released the Digital Services Playbook, a guidebook for agencies and developers that lays out 13 best practices that will help deliver more value from the digital products and services we all heavily rely upon today.

13 Plays in the Digital Services Playbook

  • Understand what people need
  • Address the whole experience, from start to finish
  • Make it simple and intuitive
  • Build the service using agile and iterative practices
  • Structure budgets and contracts to support delivery
  • Assign one leader and hold that person accountable
  • Bring in experienced teams
  • Choose a modern technology stack
  • Deploy in a flexible hosting environment
  • Automate testing and deployments
  • Manage security and privacy through reusable processes
  • Use data to drive decisions
  • Default to open

As thought leaders at the intersection between technology and public procurement, Periscope has been an early adopter in the move towards more agile and lean development practices. We were excited to see this acknowledgement that agile development and the government sector not only can be compatible, but are actually the best practice for building digital services that bring the most value for every dollar spent.

Over the next few months, Periscope will be highlighting some of the key plays in the Digital Services Playbook that help drive our day-to-day decision making. We hope to use this opportunity to educate our clients and partners on how these plays can be used to build better eProcurement solutions. We also want to establish a dialogue with other procurement professionals and to hear your feedback on how these plays are working, so we can continue to improve the products and processes you use every day.

Please check back in two weeks for the next blog in this series which will explore how Periscope is using these plays as we work with our clients and partners to eradicate waste and maximize the value of every dollar spent.

Introducing NIGP Code News

We are excited to introduce NIGP Code News, our new quarterly email newsletter for NIGP Code users! We created NIGP Code News for YOU, our loyal Code users! This quarterly newsletter will include important information about the Code, a tip for getting the most from the Code, and a message from the President of NIGP Code & Consulting, Matt Walker.

Please let us know how we can make NIGP Code News valuable for you! Share your ideas in the comments section or email us. We are committed to meeting your needs and providing information that well help you to maximize your use of the NIGP Code.

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